Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Topics - quadz

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
16
Politics / Ghost Cities: Gargantuan Chinese Real Estate Bubble
« on: August 04, 2014, 01:37:11 PM »
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/china-real-estate-bubble-lesley-stahl-60-minutes/  (12 minutes)

Bizarre: Upwards of 10 to 20 ghost cities are being constructed in China per year, full of high priced apartment complexes and vacant shopping centers--apartments which members of China's middle class have been purchasing as "investments", but which are too expensive for the poorer population to afford.

Apparently the government has been subsidizing or at least heavily encouraging continued development to keep the bubble from bursting so far--and since housing prices have continued to rise over the past decade or more, families who can afford them continue to view them as investments. A middle class family might own half a dozen different empty apartments in various new cities.

Yet the Chinese villagers being displaced by the millions to make way for these new high-rise cities subsist on something like $2 per day, thus have zero chance of being able to afford a $60,000 apartment in a complex that now sits where their village used to be.

Further, developers are taking out massive loans to build the next new city. So when the bubble does burst and families with all their savings locked up in half a dozen empty apartment buildings see the value of those holdings start to plummet, they'll be scrambling to sell, and developers will be stuck with partially finished new cities but suddenly no buyers for their newest batches of "investment" apartments.

Looks like it's on a path to make what happened here in 2008 look tiny by comparison.


:erhmmm:

17
/dev/random / DOOM 20th anniversary playthrough with John Romero
« on: July 13, 2014, 01:41:14 AM »
Chill 2013 interview with John Romero playing co-op with the interviewer through the DOOM shareware maps, with plenty of commentary about the level design:

<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/b86PwuzyxlY/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/b86PwuzyxlY"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/b86PwuzyxlY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/b86PwuzyxlY</a>

Example: 39:15 -- "...understand the 3D design of the level -- by making them come through it multiple times, is from Zelda, actually. Because, at the beginning of Zelda 1 on the NES, the first area that you start in, has these bushes that--later--you get a lantern that you can throw fire with: And when you burn down those bushes, there's a dungeon under it! And that dungeon was in the first room of the game! And to me I was like, wow, that's really cool how they re-used the original area. So I always try and do that when I'm designing: how do I maximize my design by re-using it multiple times in different ways?"

Lots more commentary like the above...

:righteous:


P.S. 57:40 -- definitive 'gib' pronunciation  :razzberry:

18
Science / Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
« on: March 16, 2014, 04:24:04 AM »
First episode of the new Cosmos series is online here:

http://www.cosmosontv.com/watch/183733315515  (Says: Expires in 49 days :S )

Really nicely done! I hope it gets shown in a lot of classrooms. The "cosmic calendar" metaphor was a clever way to bridge cosmic time-scales to a familiar reference point.

Looking forward to episode 2...

:beer:

19
Jokes / Pseudoscientific Audiophile Reviews
« on: March 10, 2014, 10:52:17 AM »

"Pseudoscientific wank from the pages of audiophile magazines."

http://wathifi.tumblr.com/


:dohdohdoh:

20

<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/QMYfkOtYYlg/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QMYfkOtYYlg"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/QMYfkOtYYlg" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/QMYfkOtYYlg</a>

More info here: http://www.ioccc.org/2012/endoh1/hint.html
Source here: http://www.ioccc.org/2012/endoh1/


:notworthy:

21
0x1337c0de / GLSL Sandbox
« on: December 10, 2013, 02:00:43 PM »
Really nifty site for demoing and experimenting with GLSL shaders in WebGL in the browser:

http://glsl.heroku.com/

Note: Some these failed to work for me in Firefox, but they all worked great in Chrome.

These shaders run entirely on the GPU, even the ones that have logic where the camera flies through the scene.

Some of them really gave my GPU a workout. With an aggressive fan curve, the core temp stayed under 70c, but it was exhausting heat like a mini blast furnace.

Haven't seen all the demos yet but here are some favorites so far:

(Note, the numeric 0.5/1/2/4/8 pulldown menu to the right of the "hide code" button seems to change the shader resolution, the higher the number, the lower the resolution factor... Generally for best results make the number as low as possible without compromising framerate.)

An on-GPU raytracer: http://glsl.heroku.com/e#12290.0  (looks especially nice at 0.5 resolution, though my GPU can't quite hack it at 60Hz with 0.5 resolution at a full 1920x1080... gets slightly choppy in fullscreen... otherwise, glassy smooth)

Grassy rolling hills, sun, lens flare: http://glsl.heroku.com/e#12543.1

Procedural height map fly-though (including trees and translucent water)  http://glsl.heroku.com/e#12007.0

Realtime perlin noise: http://glsl.heroku.com/e#12666.0

Procedural apple and wooden table: http://glsl.heroku.com/e#12645.0

Cellular automata: http://glsl.heroku.com/e#12630.6  (apparently it's reading/writing to a 2D texture to store its state)

Sort of a 3D fractal? http://glsl.heroku.com/e#12578.0

Kinda like something out of Tron: http://glsl.heroku.com/e#12470.1

"My god! it's full of stars." http://glsl.heroku.com/e#12221.0

etc.


BTW, you can tweak the code in the editor, and it will auto-recompile the shader so you can immediately see the result.


:beer:


Edit: A few more...

http://glsl.heroku.com/e#11706.0  <- "the other road to hell"

http://glsl.heroku.com/e#11557.2  <- solar system

http://glsl.heroku.com/e#11473.0  <- shader invaders!

http://glsl.heroku.com/e#11414.0  <- coffee cup(s) on table, mouse moves light source



22
art, music, etc. / Spooky Soundtracks
« on: October 31, 2013, 05:40:40 AM »
Happy Halloween!

Just fer fun, hastily put together a Halloween Haunted House Dungeon track yesterday evening to hopefully creep out the Trick-or-Treaters tonight (made using ACID pro 7 and samples from the Sony Pictures Sound Effects Series library)

http://tastyspleen.net/~quadz/sfx/halloween_haunted_house_dungeon.mp3


:hache:

23
Politics / Danish-Iranian artist convicted of racism
« on: September 19, 2013, 06:03:04 PM »
http://www.cphpost.dk/national/danish-iranian-artist-convicted-racism

Firoozeh Bazrafkan was found guilty of racism by the Danish Western High Court after writing in her blog that Muslim men use Islam to justify violence against women:

Quote
A Danish-Iranian artist was found guilty of racism by the Western High Court on Monday for statements she made about Muslim men.

Firoozeh Bazrafkan was charged with racism after writing in a blog entry, published in Jyllands-Posten newspaper in December 2011, that she was "very convinced that Muslim men around the world rape, abuse and kill their daughters".

She added: "This is, according to my understanding as a Danish-Iranian, the result of a defective and inhumane culture – if you can even call it a culture at all. But you can say, I think, that it is a defective and inhumane religion whose textbook, the Koran, is more immoral, deplorable and crazy than manuals of the two other global religions combined."

Wait, "racism"???  So... Islam is a race?

Anyway...

Note to self: reminder not to take the first amendment of the U.S. constitution for granted.


:frustration:

24
Science / Lawrence Krauss - Theoretical Origin of the Higgs Field
« on: July 10, 2013, 02:37:20 PM »
"A remarkable cap of a fifty year intellectual journey."

Lawrence Krauss appears briefly in the following video, in a Q&A session, giving the most clear and concise explanation I've yet heard geared at a general audience for why the Higgs field was proposed (leading to the search for the Higgs boson.)

Segment occurs from 6:10 - 14:45:

<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/WBBCBUe-Ngk/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WBBCBUe-Ngk"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/WBBCBUe-Ngk" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/WBBCBUe-Ngk</a>


Here's a more detailed 50 minute treatment of the above, beginning with Galileo and Faraday's discoveries and building up through Maxwell, Einstein, Feynman, etc. to explain layer by layer how theory confirmed by experiment drove physicists eventually to propose the Higgs field:

<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/gw7v6EzJDNM/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gw7v6EzJDNM"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/gw7v6EzJDNM" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/gw7v6EzJDNM</a>


Had a couple mind=blown moments during this talk (...at any given moment we're perceiving a three-dimensional slice of a 4D world, etc.)


:notworthy:

25
tastyspleen.net / GOTO ZIGBOT
« on: March 18, 2013, 06:41:02 AM »
Greetings,

Just added a GOTO ZIGBOT server running Zigock bots and FFA maps.

mymap is enabled, with pretty much all the FFA maps we have routes for. (In order to add additional maps, route files need to be created for the bots.)

It's taken a few weekends of hacking to fix various glitches and stability issues with the mod. Hopefully it's stable enough now. (Still has to use a special r1q2 mode to completely reload the game DLL on map change to prevent it crashing.)

NOTE 1: I'm aware the bots do goofy things (spazzing out on ledges, for instance.) At this point it is what it is.

NOTE 2: Currently 7 bots are spawned in regardless of number of players or map size. In the future I'd like to make the number of bots vary based on map size, and also adjust based on number of players.

The bot source with my changes is available here: https://github.com/tastyspleen/zigock-q2

Anyway, hope it's fun.

Enjoy it or don't!

:beer:

26
Science / Mr. Fission: Salt reactor runs on nuclear waste
« on: March 15, 2013, 04:49:08 PM »
The Waste Annihilating Molten Salt Reactor (WAMSR) runs on materials the industry currently discards as waste:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/14/nuclear_reactor_salt/

Quote
Most conventional nuclear reactors – in the US at least – are light-water reactors, but this design has a number of disadvantages. The reactors only use about 3 per cent of the potential energy stored in the uranium pellets that power them, and the resultant waste still contains enough energy to be radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. The average US plant produces 20 tons of such waste a year.

They also suffer from safety problems, since an external power source is required to cool the reaction chamber and to shut down the plant if necessary. It was the failure of these power systems (owing to the tsunami cutting both power to the plant and swamping the backup generators) that caused Fukushima's reactor problems.

The WAMSR takes "waste" fuel pellets and dissolves them in molten salt. The fluid is then pumped into a graphite core to induce a reaction and generate heat, which is extracted via a heat exchanger and used to drive steam turbines and generate power.

The design is much more fuel-efficient than light-water reactors – using 98 per cent of the potential energy in uranium pellets – and a WAMSR unit would produce just three kilos of waste a year that would be radioactive for only hundreds of years rather than hundreds of thousands.

With around 270,000 tons of nuclear waste available worldwide, the reactors would be enough to supply all the world's projected energy needs for the next 70 years. As a side benefit, this could also reduce nuclear proliferation since countries would no longer have to manufacturer nuclear fuel.

As a safety feature, WAMSR's liquid-fuel pipes are connected to a drain plug of salt that has been frozen solid. If humans aren't around and the power to the plant fails, the plug melts and the nuclear fuel drains into a holding tanks, cools, and solidifies over the space of a few days.


It's also supposed to be less expensive to build than prior reactors.

If this thing really works, what a freakin win-win.


:beer:

27
The following records a 2006 debate on the topic, "Freedom of expression must include the license to offend."

<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/7oCmhZ-1gGc/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7oCmhZ-1gGc"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/7oCmhZ-1gGc&amp;start=255" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/7oCmhZ-1gGc&amp;start=255</a> *(youtube)

(Context: the question of the western press' near-universal acquiescense in self-censorship of the "Muhammad cartoons" was a fresh and current topic of the debate.)

In my opinion it's overall quite badass; and if you've ever heard the Justice Olliver Wendell Holmes citation of "Shouting fire in a crowded theater" used as an 'easy' demarcating line for when-or-when-not to suppress speech, watch this debate to be reminded of the kind of speech that was in actuality on trial and being suppressed by this very same Holmes judicial argument.

(Video includes a live audience and a vote for/against the propsition taken of audience members before & after the debate.)


:rockon:

28
Politics / "What Huge Risks Are Big Banks Hiding?"
« on: January 14, 2013, 03:34:19 AM »

<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/PDprXKn8oTU/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PDprXKn8oTU"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/PDprXKn8oTU" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/PDprXKn8oTU</a>

Sheesh... :uhoh:


29
Quake / Q2 15th anniversary FFA event, Friday Dec 7th, 8PM Central
« on: December 06, 2012, 04:04:44 PM »
Salutations!

sponge from id Software is organizing a Q2 FFA event for Q2's 15th anniversary, scheduled for tomorrow night, Friday Dec 7th, 8PM central time, on the TS500 server!

quake2://67.228.69.114:27999

Currently the plan is just a big FFA game. The DM maps are in the rotation by default, but if lots of folks show up we can switch to the *64 maps, or perhaps some of the more well-known single player maps.


 :rocketright: :rocketleft:


30
tastyspleen.net / east.tastyspleen.net outage (hurricane Sandy)
« on: October 29, 2012, 11:18:17 PM »
Received the following info this evening from the hosting provider:

Quote
**EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION**
 
Please be advised that Internap's LGA11 facility is experiencing significant flooding in the sub-basement of the 75 Broad Street building as a result of Hurricane Sandy. The flooding has submerged and destroyed the site's diesel pumps and is preventing fuel from being pumped to the generators on the mezzanine level. The available fuel reserves on the mezzanine level are estimated to support customer loads for approximately 5-7 hours. Once this fuel supply has been exhausted the generator will no longer be able to sustain operation and critical customer power loads will be lost. We urge all Internap customers to take necessary remote action, if shutting down equipment in a more graceful fashion is possible before the outage occurs.
 
The building itself is being evacuated and no remote hands support will be available to assist in any equipment shutdown. Life safety is our number one priority and we are making plans to completely exit the facility. No customer access to the building is possible at this time either. Due to the evacuation, Internap will not be able to provide any exact updates on when the fuel will be exhausted and critical customers loads lost, but as noted, we believe it will take place in approximately 5-7 hours from now.


So: east.tastyspleen.net has been backed up and shut down cleanly for the duration.

GOTO JUMP has been relocated to Dallas for the time being (all map times should be intact.)


:raincloud:

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 8 9